Concerns about the end of life provisions in the healthcare bill

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August 11, 2009
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August 11, 2009
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Concerns about the end of life provisions in the healthcare bill

Sarah Palin is making headlines again, this time by expressing her views on the national debate over healthcare reform. In a Facebook blog entry, Palin wrote, “The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s ‘death panel’ so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their ‘level of productivity in society,’ whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.” Is there any credence to her view?
More Information:
This last weekend, Washington Post columnist Charles Lane explored the legislation at the root of this particularly controversial aspect of healthcare reform. It’s found in Section 1233, a section on end-of-life decisions.
Here are some excerpts of his column:

  • … at least as I read it, Section 1233 is not totally innocuous. … Section 1233, however, addresses compassionate goals in disconcerting proximity to fiscal ones. … If it’s all about obviating suffering, emotional or physical, what’s it doing in a measure to ‘bend the curve’ on health-care costs? “
  • “… the [end-of-life] consultations envisioned in Section 1233 aren’t quite ‘purely voluntary,’ … Section 1233, however, lets doctors initiate the chat and gives them an incentive – money – to do so. Indeed, that’s an incentive to insist. …”
  • “What’s more, Section 1233 dictates, at some length, the content of the consultation. The doctor ‘shall’ discuss ‘advanced care planning, including key questions and considerations, important steps, and suggested people to talk to’; … and ‘a list of national and State-specific resources to assist consumers and their families.’ … Who belongs on ‘a list’ of helpful ‘resources’? The Roman Catholic Church? Jack Kevorkian?”

Great question.
My friend Gary Bauer writes, “… under the guise of ‘family planning,’ the federal government already provides your tax dollars to the nation’s largest abortion provider – Planned Parenthood. And given the Left’s hostility to life – whether it’s Obama science advisor John Holdren suggesting that babies aren’t fully human until several years after birth or Obama’s healthcare advisor Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel suggesting that people not capable of being “participating citizens” should be denied healthcare – reasonable people are right to be concerned.”
As the Post’s Charles Lane concluded about Section 1233 and ObamaCare’s ‘death panels,’ “You don’t have to be a right-wing wacko to question that approach.”
Bauer concludes, “Indeed, you don’t, and a lot of Americans are beginning to question a lot of Barack Obama’s radical agenda.”
This is a critical time for our country, and I encourage you to stand up and make your voice heard.

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